On May 19, 10-year-old jewelry brand Ring Concierge’s flagship Bleecker Street store in NYC was robbed. Thieves stole diamonds, gold and other assorted pieces of jewelry, and damaged the store, forcing Ring Concierge to close the location for two days.
It was an unfortunate event, especially since the store had just opened in November 2021. But according to Ring Concierge founder and CEO Nicole Wegman, it was also an opportunity for the brand to take control of its story. Wegman declined to comment on the value of the goods stolen and damage to the store.
Wegman and the marketing team at Ring Concierge used the burglary as inspiration for a week-long digital and in-person campaign. It just so happened that, in the fall, Ring Concierge had done a “jewelry heist”-themed photoshoot, but hadn’t ended up using the photos. For the grand re-opening after the burglary, the company printed fake newspapers using the unused heist imagery, showcased on social media the effort to get the store back into a serviceable state and spoke openly about the burglary to its 500,000 Instagram followers. On the website, Ring Concierge featured a collection of styles that were stolen and marketed it as “burglar-approved.”
“We’re always very transparent with our followers,” Wegman said. “We let them vote on what kinds of styles they want to see, we show them behind-the-scenes [of the business,] they get to see a lot of my life on social. To have this happen to us and not talk about it felt totally wrong for the relationship that we’ve built with our customers.”
The reaction was positive. Wegman said a video posted on Instagram about the burglary and subsequent reopening led to more views than the brand has seen on any other posts, as well as more DMs from customers. Engagement on Instagram Stories related to the burglary was 142% higher than average, and the brand saw 50X more DMs than usual.
Overall, the store was closed for two days, but the revenue from the campaign made up for it, said Wegman. On the launch day of the campaign on May 21, compared to an average day, Ring Concierge saw $17,000 additional online revenue and traffic to the site was up 4x. Ring Concierge’s flagship store is its only retail location and most sales are done online.
“We took something that most companies would have looked at as something not to talk about, and turned it into a message,” Wegman said. “It was an opportunity to involve our community, to show them behind-the-scenes of what was happening. The response has been great.”